OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco hasn’t yet returned to the practice field, but he has resumed football activity less than two weeks ahead of the 2017 season opener.
After missing all of training camp and the preseason with a back ailment that surfaced in July, the 32-year-old is taking meaningful steps to return to practice in the near future.
“I will say he has started to throw. He’s started to move around and do the football stuff in the last two days,” head coach John Harbaugh said. “So, he’s moving toward practice. It’s just when the docs clear him, which we don’t know that date when that’s going to happen right now. We believe it’s going to be real soon in time to prepare for Cincinnati, and then he’ll be out there.”
Details on Flacco have been scarce since the Ravens issued an Aug. 11 press release stating that he would not play in the preseason and the plan was for him to be ready for Week 1. Reporters have periodically seen the 10th-year quarterback around the team’s training facility, but he hasn’t been on the sideline during open practices or the first three preseason games.
After promising Saturday that Flacco would be back to play in the opener, Harbaugh said the Super Bowl XLVII Most Valuable Player has remained active while continuing to receive treatment for his back.
“It’s been different things. His rehab has been very much rehab-oriented,” Harbaugh said. “It hasn’t been football-oriented, so he’s been working on that. He’s worked really hard on it. I do believe he’s in good shape. I wouldn’t say football shape because he hasn’t played football, but he’s in really good shape as far as his conditioning, his cardiovascular, his strength, and those kinds of things. Those are things that we’ll just have to wait and see when he comes out to practice.”
How quickly he’ll be able to shake off the rust in time to play effectively against Cincinnati remains to be seen.
Harbaugh also said wide receiver Breshad Perriman is close to returning to practice. Having missed the last four weeks with a hamstring injury, the 2015 first-round pick was moving well at roughly three-quarters speed in an extensive on-field workout prior to Saturday’s preseason win over Buffalo.
“I’m optimistic that he’ll be practicing very soon and he’ll play against Cincinnati,” Harbaugh said. “I’m very optimistic, and that’s barring any kind of setback.”